A CERTAIN AGE Is Ripe For the Reading

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper
A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams

A few months ago I read a book titled THE FORGOTTEN ROOM, a good book that was uniquely written by three authors: Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. Since I liked the book I tucked the names of Williams and Willig into my memory. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when a book titled A CERTAIN AGE landed on my desk. The author of that book is Beatriz Williams. Having enjoyed THE FORGOTTEN ROOM I decided to give this one a try. All it took was a few pages and I was hooked.

A CERTAIN AGE is about the twenties, an era that has never really attracted my interest. In Williams' hands however this time becomes as fresh and entertaining as possible. Because of her skills, readers are welcomed into the world of clubs and clandestine relationships. Everyone seems to be living their lives at a staccato-like race to happiness or at least cheap thrills.

Smack dab in the middle of all this is Theresa Marshall, a woman from a society background who has also married big money. Theresa is forty-ish and long resigned to the affairs in which her husband participates. Her children are grown and she is bored so she picks out a boy toy as someone on the side. Trouble is the Boy, as she calls him, is seriously in love with her and wants to get married.

Along comes Sophie Fortescu, innocent and beautiful. She catches the eye of Theresa's brother who thinks her money and his position are a match made in Heaven. Trouble is Sophie also has a brain and she sees the possible downside of such a union. Still Sophie is an obedient daughter and her poppa thinks this is a good match too.

Williams knows exactly how to capture the excitement of these people and this time. Theresa is a master manipulator and Sophie is a prize to be wooed and won. That is why she has the Boy act as her brother's go-between in asking for Sophie's hand. Trouble is the Boy likes what he sees when he is forced to spend some time with young Sophie.

Amid all these goings on there is a murder trial that involves them all. You only get glimpses of it while the basic story is being built but it always hovers in the background casting a shadow on these madcap times.

Williams does a brilliant job of interweaving different sets of occurrences, and she has a special knack for holding the readers' interest in each and every character. Even those who are admitted murderers, adulterers and liars have some redemptive qualities as well.

As soon as you enter this world you can hear the jazzy music playing in the background and feel the rush of energy that these people feel. The beat of the story is constant and the enjoyment level is pitched high. So don't delay, grab a copy of this book and head back to the twenties. You will definitely enjoy your stay there for the length of this story. It is fun, impressive writing from a rising star in the literary world.

A CERTAIN AGE is published by William Morrow. It contains 336 pages and sells for $26.99.

Jackie K Cooper